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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — The Yang di-Pertuan Agong does not require advice from the prime minister to call a sitting in Parliament, veteran Umno lawmaker Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah asserted this evening.
The Gua Musang MP was responding to the King’s statement earlier today, clarifying that Parliament can sit during the current state of Emergency after the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government suspended its operations.
“In fact, it is the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as stipulated under the Constitution, to call for a Parliament sitting without getting advice from the prime minister, what more in a situation where a state of Emergency has been declared.
“The decision on an appropriate meeting date can be decided by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” Tengku Razaleigh said in a statement welcoming the royal decree from the palace.
Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin issued a statement earlier today, after Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah granted an audience to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Seri Azhar Azizan Harun and Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri Rais Yatim.
In the statement, Sultan Abdullah said Parliament could reconvene even during the Emergency upon the advice of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
There have been several suits filed in court challenging the PN government’s decision to suspend Parliament during the Emergency.
Outside court, other lawmakers allied with the ruling PN, including Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has openly criticised Parliament’s suspension.
She penned a letter earlier this month addressed to Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun criticising his advice to the PN government, saying he should have offered suggestions to enable Parliament to sit during the Emergency that was called purportedly to combat the health and economic crises brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Azalina pointed out that many other governments in countries with worse Covid-19 cases than Malaysia’s had continued with parliamentary sittings, and cited the UK as an example.